Sound — 9
This is primarily an alternative rock/post punk album, but don't think it sounds like today's mainstream pop punk garbage. It's full of guitars that range from fast and distorted to clean and melodic. Kim Deal's bass is firm and her voice is ethereal and beautiful. Her voice reminds me of Belinda from My Bloody Valentine. The drumming is simple but good, and Black Francis/Frank Black's voice is unique to say the least. He's one of those select few voices that's unique in a good way, one that can't be described, but begs to be heard.
Lyrics — 9
Black Francis' lyrics are as distinct and wonderful as his voice. A good majority of them, when you hear them, you'll likely think "do these actually mean something or is it just non-sense that sounds like it COULD mean something?" Lyrics like "I've kissed mermaids, rode the El Nino, walked the sand with the crustaceans" or "Miss aggravation, some sacred questions, you stroke my locks, some marijuana, if you got some" show the twisted brilliance of the lyrics.
Overall Impression — 9
Pixies were Nirvana's biggest influence, and Nirvana didn't come close to matching this bands brilliance. This could very well be the best post punk/alternative album ever made. Alternative music was never more wacky or brilliant then with this quartet from Boston. Any bands into rock who haven't heard Pixies, rush out and buy this along with Surfer Rosa, and be blown away. Personal favorite tracks are Debaser, Wave of Mutilation, Here Comes Your Man, Monkey Gone To Heaven, and Gouge Away.